Why did Phillip Schofield leave This Morning?

24 May 2023, 14:48

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby' looking sad and glum
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby's friendship reportedly turned sour in recent months. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

Phillip Schofield officially stepped down as presenter of This Morning alongside friend and co-host Holly Willoughby after more than two decades on the ITV show.

ITV broke the news on Saturday May 20th that Phillip Schofield will be stepping down with immediate effect from his position presenting This Morning.

Hosting alongside Holly Willoughby for 13 years, Phil, aged 61, announced on Instagram that he would no longer be seen on the daytime TV show as part of one of the biggest showbiz scandals this year.

The resignation came after weeks of reports suggesting Holly and Phil's friendship was in turmoil and that their connection off camera had become particularly strained.

It also follows the sentencing of Phil's brother, who has been put in prison for 12 years for child sex offences.

Read more: Phillip Schofield ‘completely broken’ after being axed from This Morning amid feud with Holly Willoughby

Read more: Phillip Schofield 'agreed to quit This Morning after being offered his own solo show'

Holly, who will remain on the This Morning sofa, has begun a two week break from the show while Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary take over hosting duties. They also paid tribute on the first show without him.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield laughing at the NTA awards after winning an award for This Morning
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield became one of ITV's most-loved TV pairs. Picture: Alamy

Why did Phillip Schofield leave This Morning?

Neither ITV, Phil or Holly have confirmed an exact reason behind Phillip quitting but they have all released official statements of their own.

Announcing his exit on Instagram, Phil wrote that his love of the show is the reason he stepped down: "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.

"I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.

"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month."

With no mention of Holly in his statement, she released a message of her own, also on Instagram.

It read: "Hi everyone...it's been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour. The sofa won't feel the same without him."

Rumours of a strained relationship between the presenters first began in 2022 when the pair faced criticism from the public for seemingly jumping the line to to see the Queen lying in state.

Recent rumours have also suggested Willoughby felt blindsided by Phillip's brother's trial which she was not warned about.

Phillip also commented on their friendship to a newspaper saying they were "best of friends as always" which she reportedly did not agree to.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the Royal Ascot alongside his ex-wife
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield had a very close relationship with each other's families too. Picture: Getty

Alison and Dermot pay tribute to Phillip Schofield as they open This Morning

What's next for Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby?

Despite stepping down from the popular show, Phil confirmed in his statement that he will be back in June to present the Soap Awards along with other ITV opportunities. There are also reports he's been offered his own TV show.

Holly, who has taken a two week break from the show, is due back on This Morning after half term where she will co-host with other members of the on-screen family.

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